It’s that time of the week again where the nurseries compete to be the winners of the Tuff Tray Challenge! This week, have seen 3 different tuff trays! Winklebury visited the beach with their tuff tray, Highdown celebrated the NHS with a medical tuff tray and Worthing had a grate 😉 time with their macaroni cheese inspired tuff tray. Who is going to be this weeks champions?

WINKLEBURY- Let’s visit the beach!

INTENT- This weeks tuff tray was based on the children’s interest- the beach. Earlier this week the children were having a conversation about going on holiday and one of the things they mentioned was going to the beach and swimming in the sea so I decided to create a fun and engaging beach themed tray! With this tray I wanted the children to have fun but also learn about beach safety and why beach safety is important. 

IMPLEMENT- The children really enjoyed playing and exploring in this beach tuff tray. I used a range of resources in this tray such as rice krispies, salt, sea animals and beach toys such as sandcastle moulds and shovels. I decided to use rice krispies as sand because I knew that curiosity would get the better of them so I wanted to replace actual sand with something edible and yummy! The children really enjoyed using the different resources to explore the various textures they could feel, identify, smell and taste. The children especially loved using the shovels to engage in mark making as they explored the rice krispies and salt! The children also really enjoyed talking about the beach and how they like to swim in the sea!

IMPACT-  The reason we chose this tray was because it teaches the children about  the beach and what we can find at the beach, how to wait for their turn for the beach toys and also they learn about how to keep safe at the beach. For example we asked the children what can we do to keep ourselves safe at the beach and one child said wear sunscreen! Another child said stay with mummy! This tray really encouraged turn taking, the use of fine motor skills and also imagination as they used their creativity.

HIGHDOWN- Celebrating the NHS.

INTENT- This week our tuff tray was based around the NHS. We had a lovely parent come into nursery to talk about her job. The tray was to continue their interest and see what information they remembered. We wanted them to use their imagination and communication skills to help them make the babies feel better and develop their learning about the body. With this tray it will help turn taking skills with each other, develop friendships and share past events or ideas. 

IMPLEMENT- In our tuff tray, we used different different size babies for the children to help make better. We used plasters and bandages from the day before because that’s what the children got excited mostly for. We added toy phones for the children to use their imagination and to call people for help. We added different pictures of body parts from X-rays to see if they could identify which matches what body part.  We also added pens and paper for them to practice their writing skills and forming letters correctly.

IMPACT- The children were all super excited to get involved in the tray as it followed their interests in the day before activity. They all went straight to the colourful plasters and began placing them on the babies to make them feel better. Whilst this was happening others began unrolling the bandages and wrap it around the babies poorly head. Some of the children remembered who to call in an emergency by using their imagination to call for help. Whilst others wrote out a letter for some medicine. 


INTENT- It’s macaroni day…with a TWIST!!! This tray is inspired by macaroni day and has been extended to a macaroni cheese tray! The intent of this activity is to promote the children’s senses and exploration of different smells, tastes and textures. This activity will also promote the children’s healthcare skills through learning to cut and grate the cheese further promoting their fine motor skills as well as encouraging them to try new things. On top of this the activity provides opportunities for mathematics through filling and emptying as well as counting out the macaroni. This also encourages children to become more aware of sequences as they will be learning the process to making macaroni cheese.

IMPLEMENT- As this activity draws from the children’s curiosity and imagination. It encourages them to become more independent when thinking critically and making their own decisions. Through providing a range of resources such as bowls, spoons, knifes and graters it encourages them to come up with their own ideas as well as further their independence. During this activity we will also be focusing on our keywords which will be: CUT, GRATE and SPRINKLE!

IMPACT- The children loved this tuff tray and were keen to get stuck in! The children showed particular interest in taste testing the cheese and grating it on the grater. This has lead to the children gaining in confidence and independence as well as enhancing their teamwork skills by creating  macaroni cheese together with their friends. This activity has also broadened their vocabulary through learning our keywords and other words like crunch, macaroni and recipe! We also talked about our senses, what we could feel, what we could see and what we could hear as the pasta crunched!


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